An important characteristic of urban transportation policy and planning today is the increasing role that the private sector is playing in identifying and implementing transportation projects. For example, a recent examination of the possible forms of such involvement found that there were four major categories of action that could be used to classify recent private-sector efforts in urban transportation: (1) aid to and/or provision of transportation services; (2) formation of advocacy or advisory groups whose purpose is to influence public policy; (3) sponsorship of transportation studies; and (4) provision of management assistance to public agencies (Gordon, 1982). In many of these efforts, the successful implementation of a project or program required close cooperation between public and private-sector officials. The purpose of this paper is to examine the characteristics of this interaction and explore the implications for transportation planning and policy.
Examples of public/private-sector interaction in two Connecticut cities, Hartford and Stamford, are used to illustrate the characteristics of successful transportation program implementation. Although the examples are limited to two cities, and are mainly concerned with one major category of action (ridesharing), the characteristics of the process used and of the results can be applied to other situations where public/privatesector interaction is desired.